By GEORGE MORSE
Sports And Outdoors
Los Alamos Daily Post
Here in Northern New Mexico we have been fortunate to avoid getting the powerful thunderstorms that were pounding Southeast New Mexico this past week.
These storms produced large hailstones that covered the ground between Roswell and Dexter and really hit the town of Hagerman.
This area of New Mexico can produce phenomenal quail hunting for scaled and bobwhite quail in good years. However, hail storms can absolutely devastate quail populations. They are particularly rough on newly-hatched chicks of ground-nesting birds like quail. We’ll have to wait and see what effect the recent storms have had on the quail populations in this area.
In good years, it seems like there is a covey of quail around every corner. In bad years, the birds can be extremely hard to find. This area also has surprisingly good hunting for mule deer. There have been several successful deer and quail hunting trips we’ve taken over the years to this area. If later this year there are some good reports on the quail populations another trip, maybe in December when you can also hunt dove, is something to plan for if you enjoy small-game hunting.
Here in Northern New Mexico we had some storms, more it seems on the eastern slopes of the Sangre de Cristos. The snow is going fast and the streams are still swollen with runoff. The upper Chama River above El Vado Lake isroaring with runoff. The flow Monday at La Puente was 3,760 cubic-feet-per-second.
That was way more than even the Rio Grande, which was flowing at 2,200 cubic-feet-per-second at Taos Junction Bridge.
The fishing at Abiquiu Lake is getting better as the water clears a bit. It has been fair for smallmouth bass and walleye.
No reports on trout being caught, but this is the time of year when you can hook some big trout at Abiquiu.
The Chama River below Abiquiu Dam was flowing at 1,750 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing is still slow here and will remain so as long as the flow remains this high.
The Chama River below El Vado Dam was flowing at 1,310 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing here has been reported as good. Fly fishermen have been catching some nice brown trout below El Vado with streamers.
El Vado Lake has had fair fishing for perch with a few bass thrown in. The water is rising and is quite murky.
At Heron Lake the bank fishing for rainbow trout has been fair-to-good. Anglers are reporting catching kokanee salmon trolling near the island with Panther Martins tipped with corn.
The fishing has been very good at Laguna del Campo near Los Ojos. It was stocked May 28 with 1,533 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 185 rainbow trout averaging 16.7 inches in size.
Still no reports from the Canjilon Lakes or the Trout Lakes. They have not yet been stocked this year.
The fishing has been reported as good at Hopewell Lake between Tierra Amarilla and Tres Piedras. They are catching some nice, holdover rainbow trout. I took a drive to Hopewell last week. You can drive right down to the lake. I wanted to catch some brook trout and used worms. Having just an hour to fish, I caught enough for a nice meal. I had forgotten how good a dinner of pan-fried, small brook trout can be. Delicious. There were lots of elk out feeding near dusk and the high mountain pastures were a vibrant green thanks to the wet winter we had. Great to be outdoors.
No reports from the Rio de los Pinos near the Colorado border. There have been several heavy stockings of trout here and this time of year you can catch some nice brown trout. The flow may be a little high but it should be worth a try.
Over in the Jemez Mountain area, Fenton Lake remains very good for trout. It was stocked May 29 with 2,409 rainbow trout.
The nearby Seven Springs Brood Pond has been very good for trout. This is a good place to take the kids as the angling is for anglers under 12 years-old.
The fishing in the Jemez River remains slow because of the heavy flow. The fishing in the smaller streams like the Rio Cebolla, Rio San Antonio and East Fork of the Jemez has been good.
The fishing remains good at Santa Cruz Lake near Chimayo. This lake has been heavily-stocked with some good-sized rainbow trout and has wild brown trout.
The streamflow on the Rio Grande is still strong and the fishing is slow. Try fishing the edges closer to the bank.
The Rio Pueblo near Penasco was stocked May 28 with 1,200 rainbow trout. The fishing has been good, but the flow is still strong at 165 cubic-feet-per second. The deeper pools should be easier to fish. In that area, the Sipapu Pond was stocked May 28 with 165 rainbow trout.
The Red River above the town of Questa was stocked may 30 with 2,900 rainbow trout. The fishing in this area depends almost totally on stocking. The upper Red River tributaries were stocked May 30. The East Fork of the Red River and the West Fork of the Red River each received 300 rainbow trout. The fishing below the town of Questa was fair-to-good. The fishing at the Red River Hatchery Pond was good.
Eagle Rock Lake near Questa was stocked May 28 with 500, 10-inch rainbow trout and with 54 rainbow trout averaging 16.7 inches in size. The fishing is very good.
The fishing for rainbow trout has been very good at Eagle Nest Lake. The fishing for northern pike has been good. Eagle Nest was stocked May 29 with 10,638 small rainbow trout. The fishing for perch and kokanee salmon was slow.
The fishing in the Cimarron River in Cimarron Canyon State Park has been good. The fishing has been good at the Gravel Pit Lakes.
The fishing at Stubblefield Lake has been good for walleye and largemouth bass.
The fishing at Maxwell Lake 13 at the Maxwell Lakes National Wildlife Refuge had no reports. The trout fishing here may be slowing down as the water warms up. It could pick up for catfish and largemouth bass.
The fishing for trout has been very good at Lake Maloya at Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton. A 24-inch brown trout was caught last week.
If you don’t mind the long drive, the fishing has been very good at Clayton Lake for some good-sized rainbow trout that were recently stocked. The Clayton Lake Fishing Derby will be held Saturday and Sunday. Call 575.374.8808 for more details. While you are there check out the dinosaur tracks and enjoy the star-filled sky.
The fishing at the Charette Lakes between Wagon Mound and Springer was fair-to-good for trout.
Coyote Creek at Guadalupita State Park near Mora was stocked May 29 with 800 rainbow trout. The fishing has been good. The Coyote Creek Pond was stocked May 29 with 599 rainbow trout.
The fishing at Storrie Lake near Las Vegas was good for trout and fair-to-good for catfish. Try fishing at night with cut bait for big catfish.
There were no reports from the Gallinas River near Las Vegas, but it should be good as it was stocked May 29 with 1,00 rainbow trout. The Gallinas Ice Pond was stocked with 199 rainbow trout.
The fishing at Conchas Lake on the Canadian River has been good for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and catfish. It has been fair for crappie, white bass and walleye.
There’s a good flow in the Pecos River at 616 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing has been fair-to-good for brown and rainbow trout. The Pecos was stocked twice last week with a total of 1,750 rainbow trout.
The Cowles Ponds north of Pecos have been very good for stocked rainbow trout.
The fishing at Santa Rosa Lake on the Pecos River has been fair-to-good for smallmouth and largemouth bass. It has been slow-to-fair for walleye.
The fishing at Sumner Lake on the Pecos River has been fair-to-good for catfish. It has been fair for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and walleye.
Over in the Four Corners, it will be best to postpone any plans to fish the San Juan River below Navajo Dam. In the coming week, the streamflow will be increased to a heavy 5,000 cubic-feet-per second and will remain there for at least five days before being lowered back to 500 cubic-feet-per-second. The heavy flow helps to scour silt from the river. It can be downright dangerous to try to wade the San Juan when the flow is this heavy. Better to stay on the bank.
The fishing at Navajo Lake has been fair-to-good for smallmouth and largemouth bass. It has been fair for crappie and northern pike. The fishing has been slow-to-fair for trout.
No reports from Jackson Lake and Lake Farmington.
Cochiti Lake has been slow-to-fair for northern pike, white bass, catfish and largemouth bass.
The fishing has been good at Tingley Beach in Albuquerque for stocked catfish. It was stocked twice last week with a total of 451 catfish averaging 18 inches in size. Anglers are also catching a few largemouth bass.
The State Game and Fish Department is stocking many of the small municipal lakes and ponds in Southern New Mexico with 18-inch catfish.
The fishing at Elephant Butte Lake has been good for white bass. The fishing for Largemouth and smallmouth bass has been fair-to-good. The fishing has been good for catfish.
They are releasing a lot of water now from beneath Elephant Butte Dam into the Rio Grande. The fishing has been good for white bass, walleye and catfish.
The fishing for trout at Grindstone Reservoir near Ruidoso has been good for trout and bluegill. The fishing at Alto Lake has been very good for trout and fair-to-good for catfish.
The fishing at Lake Roberts near Silver City was very good for rainbow trout and Gila trout during the Fishing Derby June 1 at the lake. Many large Gila trout were caught thanks to a recent stocking.